Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Reason Why

If you looked like this, is it any wonder that you'd try to find a way to feel that you are better than someone else?

Meet Gary Frago, California Councilman, Sent Racist Anti-Obama Jokes To Staff.

As was reported in the Merced Sun-Star:

In the past several months Atwater City Councilman Gary Frago has sent at least a half-dozen e-mails to city staff and other prominent community members containing racist jokes aimed at President Barack Obama, his wife and black people in general.
Frago's response?
"I don't see where there's a story, I'm not the only one that does it," he said.

* * * *
When asked again if he had any regrets about sending the e-mails, he said: "No, because I didn't see any harm in them."
Translation: I'm ugly as sin, inside & out. I only feel better when I'm putting someone else down.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Oh, blasphemy!

One of the LLWL Gang is heading off to a vacation in Ireland today. Good thing for her, she's not one who needs to be concerned about the latest law passed there.

As reported at TPM, Ireland revisits blasphemy:

Blasphemy is one of those old issues that Westerners assume has passed into the realm of sketch-comedy or articles about Muslims losing their tongues. But now Irish atheists and religious alike are wary of Justice Minister Dermot Ahern's new Defamation Act, which revives awareness that blasphemy has been, and still is, a crime in the traditionally Catholic country. Although the new penalties may be less severe than in the 1961 version, fines of up to 25,000 euros may still be levied for the crime of blasphemy against religion - and now against any religion.
Yes, it's true. Luckily, I've already been to Ireland, so I can cross it off my list of vacation spots. Lord knows that I've been known to criticize religion (especially the Catholic Church), knows that I'd be in trouble if I were to step foot in Ireland.

Staks Rosch notes, Ireland passes blasphemy law:

On Friday July 11th, 2009, Ireland passed the Defamation Bill by one vote. One of the aspects of this bill would make it illegal to criticize religion… any religion under penalty of fines up to 25,000 Euros. That is the equivalent to nearly $35,000.

* * * *
[A]ny religious criticism is a crime, because many Christians are critical of differing religions. Atheists are not the only ones being targeted here. Simply claiming that the Pope is not infallible might be considered blasphemous to many Catholics. Claiming that the prophet Joseph Smith was not really visited by angels and given magic golden plates would be blasphemous to Mormons. Mentioning the prophet Mohammad without adding the phrase “peace be upon him” would be considered blasphemous to Muslims. And claiming that Scientology is a sham and that Tom Cruise is crazy would obviously be blasphemous to Scientologists.

What if a Christian claimed that if someone was not saved through Jesus Christ, he or she would spend eternity in Hell? An argument could be made that such a statement and even the Bible itself might be considered blasphemous to other religions. In fact, most religious are blasphemous to other religions. Maybe the Irish police will fine everyone.

Atheist Ireland plans to test the new law by publishing a deliberately blasphemous statement. See Trees, worshippers and Ireland’s new blasphemy law. Now, blaspheme -- that's something to praise!

(Via onegoodmove)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Annie Happens to be Right Here

On a lighter note, the Sotomayer hearings weren't all the stuff of old white men wearing their victimhood on their sleeves. There were a few memorable moments.

Josh Marshall of TPM highlights one such, in Classic: Shades of Annie Hall:

Remember that scene in Annie Hall where the Alvy and Annie are waiting in line at the movie and Alvy is going nuts listening to the pontificating blowhard going on about Marshall McLuhan and then Alvy pulls McLuhan himself out from behind the movie poster to tell the guy he's an idiot. Not quite identical and Sotomayor could have driven the point a bit harder but Judge Sotomayor managed to pull off something like that.
During yesterday's session:

Brings back memories of this:

Judge Not

Although it appears that the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayer is a foregone conclusion, that hasn't stopped the Judiciary Committee from making much ado about nothing over the "record" of Judge Sotomayer. Of course, it's all about the chance for the esteemed Senators to pontificate in front of the cameras rather than to truly probe the record of the Judge.

And Senator Sessions needn't worry. He still has the pointy hat crowd locked up. The same is true for his colleagues. As Craig Crawford of CQ Politics notes, Smiling GOPers Ought to be Frowning:

Watching Lindsey Graham's gotcha grin as he needled Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor with disingenuous and rhetorical questions you had to wonder what was so funny.

Does the Republican senator think it is amusing that he and his party's condescending tone toward the Hispanic woman was costing them ethnic votes with each passing hour of Tuesday's Judiciary Committee hearing?

It is not that the Republican inquiries were out of bounds in legal terms. A confirmation hearing like this is a political forum.

Even if they vote for her, the fallout for Republicans could reach well beyond Hispanic voters. They are coming across as a bunch of snarky and bitter old white men who cannot bear the thought of their kind losing power.

The impact of this story on the political scoreboard should give Democrats much more to smile about. (Emphasis added)

Beyond the Committee charade, the most annoying part of the confirmation hearing is the fact that Judge Sotomayer's record has been so twisted and misrepresented by the GOP and the media.

Shortly after she was nominated by President Obama, I spent some time reading up on the various decisions that she was involved in during her tenure on the Court. SOTUSblog had a 4 part series on her opinions, see, Judge Sotomayor’s Appellate Opinions in Civil Cases, Part II, Part III, Part IV. See also, Reports on Judge Sotomayor’s Record, for a round up of legal blogs and other opinions on her record.

The reality is that she is a moderate Judge who carefully follows precedent, notwithstanding what may be perceived as her personal views. That should not be a surprise, since when all was said and done, the biggest issue the GOP could come up with was a supercilious attack on the fact that she might harbor some empathy in her soul. See The GOP's misguided and confusing campaign against judicial empathy.

Not that empathy was always such a dirty word. As Americablog recalls, Ah, empathy:
Justice Sam Alito on empathy and judging

“When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.”
Flashback: Alito Knows A Thing Or Two About Empathy Also
On Wednesday, Glenn Greenwald posted a key part of the transcript of Justice Samuel Alito's 2006 confirmation hearing, which suggests that, just three and a half years ago, Republicans thought empathy was a pretty righteous quality in a Supreme Court nominee. Well, we've dug up the footage of that portion of the hearing and, as it turns out, he sells the empathy pretty well.
Flashback: George H.W. Bush On Clarence Thomas' 'Great Empathy'
"I have followed this man's career for some time," said President George H.W. Bush of Clarence Thomas in July 1991. "He is a delightful and warm, intelligent person who has great empathy and a wonderful sense of humor."
But when you've got nothing else, what's are you going to do?? The early smears about her temperament problems, Early Smears On Sotomayor: ‘Dumb,’ ‘Bully,’ ‘Doesn’t Play Well With Others,’ ‘Obnoxious’, didn't quite cause enough of a stir. The problem was, no matter how tough she is, she's no match for Justice Scalia. See Sotomayor’s Blunt Style Raises Issue of Temperament. Then, there was that little problem of sexism creeping into the equation. As the Times observed:
Judge Guido Calabresi, a former dean of Yale Law School who taught Ms. Sotomayor there and now sits with her on the Second Circuit, said complaints that she had been unduly caustic had no basis. For a time, Judge Calabresi said, he kept track of the questions posed by Judge Sotomayor and other members of the 12-member court. “Her behavior was identical,” he said.

“Some lawyers just don’t like to be questioned by a woman,” Judge Calabresi added. “It was sexist, plain and simple.”

He said Judge Sotomayor’s forceful and lucid arguments had persuaded him to reconsider his position in a number of instances. “And I’m a tough act,” he said.
As usual, what all this has done is framed the debate, making this moderate judge appear to be a leftist zealot rather than the moderate she is. It has dampened the cries of the liberal left, who wanted a true liberal to be appointed to the court. Seeking a bomb-throwing, passionate, liberal Scalia for a seat on the Supreme Court. And, she may be a very good judge, but a liberal she's not.

For more on the Judge, see the array of quotes gathered by Shaun Mullen at Kiko's House, Quotes From Around Yon Soniasphere.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cartoon of the Day

Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News

The Belly Flop

While it may be true that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, yet if it happens in Philly, it makes the news in Vegas.

One night in Vegas, my husband & I were listening to the news when we heard a report about Philly. Not another murder spree, we thought. No. Instead we heard a story about that post-racial America we keep hearing about, which solved all of our bigotry problems, now that we have a black President.

Of course, I'm talking about the brouhaha over the Valley Swim Club which kicked out a group of minority day camp kids who joined the private swim club for a weekly pool time. As the Inky reported, Phila. camp alleges racism at Montco swim club:

A Huntington Valley swim club is facing accusations of racial discrimination after 65 children from a Northeast Philadelphia day camp claim they heard prejudicial remarks by club members and later had their club membership rescinded.

* * * *

Repeated attempts to reach club President John Duesler and other club officers were unsuccessful. . . . NBC 10 reported today that Duesler made the following statement: "There was concern that alot of kids would change the complexion .....and the atmosphere of the club."

Several days after the incident, Wright said the camp's $1,950 check in membership fees to the swim club was refunded, meaning the children no longer had access to the pool. She said Duesler did not provide a reason for the refund.

See also, AttyTood, We SHALL overcome some day...but apparently that day isn't 2009.

What?? In turning the campers away, the Club President didn't really say that the kids using the pool would "change the complexion" of the place, did he?? I actually winced when I heard that comment. Of course, one of the ironies of life is that Caucasians go to the pool to get a tan, but don't want to bathe next to someone whose tan is natural.

When I first heard the news, I thought that it must have happened at one of the country clubs in Huntington Valley. After all, according to Steve Reynolds of All Spin Zone, "If you know anything about Philly, you know that Huntingdon Valley is one of those suburbs populated by refugees of the “white flight” of the 60’s and 70’s." Racism in Philadelphia. As Leonard Zeskind wrote at TPM Cafe, White Residential Enclaves, White Nationalism and the Re-articulation of Racism in the 21st Century, explained:
Huntington Valley is an upper-middle class overwhelmingly white community with a total population of 20,917. Of those numbers, 158 are black, another 242 are Hispanic and 804 are Asian-American. There are many such residential enclaves in the United States of America. And they form the hard pit of reality inside the white nationalist phantasmagoria.
Although the swim club is technically located in Huntington Valley, it actually borders the city line in the Northeast. I'm not originally from Philly and, although I've lived here over 20 years, there are still the nuances of the city that I don't quite comprehend. I live in Mount Airy, an integrated enclave that doesn't have the same issues that I know exist in many other sections of the city (such as the "Great Northeast"). So, once I got my bearings, I wasn't shocked to hear the news. After all, as Philebrity observed, Surprise! Northeast Philly Is Still Racist!:
Sure, ejecting 60 kids from a paid membership at a swim club because they’re, uh, black seems a bit much, but maybe you haven’t been to Northeast Philly lately. Remember what it was like there when you were a kid? Well, imagine that same sort of put-upon White Man’s Burden/Fightin’ Irish bullshit that was au courant in the 1980s and just update it with an outside world that has a black president. Translation: It’s probably worse, because everyone who used to live there and just try, in their own meek way, to just live with this bullshit and get through their days has already picked up and moved to Center City already.
Likewise, Adam B writes at Daily Kos:
I grew up in the Somerton section of Northeast Philadelphia, a mile and a half from the just-over-the-county-border Valley Swim Club, so this is a community I know intimately well. And I am not surprised. Huntingdon Valley is an exceedingly white and wealthy suburb . . . . Just over that border line is Philmont Heights, a Philadelphia neighborhood of brick duplexes increasingly inhabited by Philadelphia's growing Russian immigrant population, and itself predominately Jewish.

Also, I want you to set your class bearings a little: it's a swim club, not a country club -- i.e., swimming pool, snack bar, playground, but not a golf course, banquet hall or any of the amenities one would associate with the latter. That's why full membership was only $395 for the summer. So think more working class to upper middle class than Judge Smalls and the Underhills."
As has been reported, the comments and treatment of the campers by some of the Club's members were disgusting. However, after reading about the story when I got home, I have to say that the Club President, John Duesler, may be getting a bad rap about the incident. Duesler was an Obama supporter and Chairman of Peace Action - Philadelphia, so he's not exactly the epitamy of a redneck. In fact, it sounds like he was in favor of the campers joining the swim club, but the Board who approved their joinder got overruled by a membership vote. As President of the Club, Duesler was left to "explain" what happened. Not knowing how to justify the inexcuable actions of the Club's members, he then made the incredibly stupid "change the complexion" remark, which further fueled the racism charges.

This matter was mishandled from beginning to end. As the Reid Report notes, ‘Complexion’-conscious swim club wants Campers back (sort of):
The first rule of public relations: never allow a crisis to become a calamity. By initially defending its decision to expel the Creative Steps summer camp and its 65 Black and Hispanic kids from their pool, the Valley Club in Montgomery County, PA screwed up, especially when its board president, John Duesler, told a TV station his members and board feared the kids’ presence would “change the ‘complexion’ and the atmosphere” of his club. Well … after two more tries; in a lame statement on their website (which is now down) and another in front of television cameras for 14 minutes, Duesler is trying for his fourth bite at a pretty rotten apple: belatedly inviting Creative Steps to come back.
Yes, after the Club's actions caused a groundswell of outrage, We can't always tip toe around it, the Valley Swim Club has recinded its recinded membership to the camp kids. After a hastily called emergency meeting earlier today, the Club was humilated enough to do the right thing -- reopen the pool to the kids. The Philly Daily News reports, Publicity parts the waters at swim club:
Members of the Montgomery County swim club that has endured a torrent of bad publicity after it ejected a group of black and Hispanic children in late June decided at a hastily called meeting yesterday to try to work out an agreement for the youngsters' return.

Amy Goldman, a member of the Valley Club, said the members voted unanimously in support of reinstating the swimming rights of the Creative Steps day camp and two other camps as long as safety issues, times and terms can be agreed.

The club will seek to meet with camp directors to discuss the issue, Goldman said.
Of course, who knows if they will return. However, at least they now have the satisfaction of saying we don't want to swim with your kind.

For more on this, see Phawker, JIM CROW SWIMS HERE: Valley Swim Club Discrimination Becomes National Embarrassment.

Looking for Treasure

Before I left for vacation, I remarked to friends that Las Vegas is probably on the top of my list of places that I'd rather not visit. However, my in-laws are celebrating their 50th Anniversary next month & the kids decided to hold the family vacation in Vegas this year so that we could combine the vacation and renewal of vows (and get a little gambling in for those who indulge).

The ceremony/reception was lovely, with all of the 5 children participating. My husband, as the oldest, was the best man. My brother-in-law, who is a minister, performed the ceremony. All of the grandkids also took part. I was one of the few in the audience, along with a few close friends & relatives who came along.

My husband & I aren't gamblers, so Vegas is not really the place for us. I couldn't believe that there were slot machines at the end of the runway when we deplaned. I'm only surprised that the bathrooms didn't have mini-slots, since they pervaded every other possible spot. To me, the non-stop gaming activity was an assault on the senses. With the temperatures over 100 degrees every day, there wasn't much else available -- even the pool was off limits until late afternoon.

We stayed at Treasure Island and visited the casinos that mimicked Paris & Venice. I've been to both cities several times, so I have to admit that I was pretty condescending about the thought of a Vegas Paris or Venice. The commercialization was a bit over the top, but the trompe l'oeil was decent. I went through the Venetian early one morning before the stores opened, so the effects were pretty good.

One evening, the ladies all went to see Menopause, The Musical, which was delightful. Another day, we wandered around old Las Vegas in the downtown section, which I enjoyed much more than the built-up strip. I even visited a few pawn shops, trying to benefit from someone's else's bad luck. I managed to find a good deal on a piece of jewelry, natch.

A number of people insisted that I at least try my hand at gambling, so I wagered $2. on the slots, which I promptly lost & quit for good. If I'm going to spend my money, I at least want to have something to show for it. All I have to say is: Las Vegas -- oy, what a place.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Eat, Drink & Be Merry

So, my hectic social life continues unabated. I'm normally a homebody, with an occasional night out, but lately I've been out almost every night, either for a client meeting or a social event.

In fact, I've been out to dinner so much in the last week or so that I could write a food blog. In the last week alone, I've been to Cooper's in Manayunk, Bocia in Mount Airy, a new restaurant in Roxborough twice, Sole 2 Soul, and had dinner at the Germantown Cricket Club.

Except for the Cricket Club, all of the restaurants are relatively new and are BYOB. Our favorite (thus, the second excursion) is Sole 2 Soul. It's just the kind of place that Ridge Avenue in Roxborough needs -- good food, nice setting. My daughter (who works nearby) is actually the one who discovered the place and we all went there last Friday. My husband & I returned last week again on our own, since we enjoyed the meal so much. The menu features a lot of seafood (which I don't eat), so my husband can get his fill. My blackened chicken breast was very tasty as well.

Cooper's Brick Oven Wine Bar is the sister restaurant to Jake's. We all had gourmet pizza and salad, which was good, but not anything special. Unlike Craig LaBan, I'm not a fan of the crackery flatbread pizza. I prefer stretchy pizza dough, even if it's pulled thin for margarita pizza. Our friends liked it more than we did.

Thursday was our anniversary (21 years of marriage/38 years togetherness), so we dined at Bacio. Again, my husband had seafood, Filet of Talapia, which he loved and I had a delicious chicken parmigiana. The service was so slow that the chef sent out a beef salad gratis while we waited. We were in no hurry, so it was no big deal for us. We'd definitely go back.

On the 4th, we opted for a restful day -- a day relaxing at the pool, followed by a BBQ in our yard, with a late night dip in our hottub, sipping wine. We could hear the fireworks in the background, so it was a fab 4th.

Tomorrow we're off for our family vacation. This year we're going to a place that topped my list of vacation spots I don't want to see -- Las Vegas. We don't gamble, but everyone says it's still a fun place to go. My in-laws are renewing their vows on their 50th Anniversary and we're doing it up in Las Vegas. I'll see if I can find some hidden treasure at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Cartoon of the Day

The Quitah From Wasilla

I realize that the topic of Sarah Palin's latest zany move -- quitting her job as Governor of Alaska -- has been covered almost as much as Michael Jackson's death, but I just have to put my spin on it (not that I have anything unique to add), of course. After all, despite my belief that she would pale out after the election, she has continued to live on -- in infamy, to the delight of her friends & foes alike. If nothing else, Sarah has staying power & excels at the Supreme Surprise!

For me personally, summer continues to be a whirlwind of social activity, so I had just finished Todd Purdum's devastating piece in Vanity Fair on Palin on Friday, It Came from Wasilla, and was out & about when I received a shocking AP News Alert on my iPhone, announcing that her Paleness had decided to start the 4th of July celebrations early, with the fireworks created by the news of her impending departure. I immediately called my Sarah Be Gone Wager pal to dish about the news.

As soon as arrived back home, I had to watch the video of her resignation. It was everything (and more) that I hoped it would be. A definite performance for the ages. She will forever be guided by the Rule: "only dead fish go with the flow." She may be vexing and perplexing, but one thing's for sure -- she's gone from Sassy Sarah to Sarah the Sad Sack.

All you need to know of her rambling, breathless, shaky, Sarah Be Gone Speech from Nowhere is:

Wordle: Sarah Palin's Resignation Speech
(Click to enlarge)

Bottom line, as the Anchorage Daily News said, is that Sarah Palin to resign as Alaska's governor:
Gov. Sarah Palin stunned Alaska and the nation Friday by abruptly announcing her resignation from office. Palin, the governor of Alaska for two and a half years, said she will step down in three weeks and hand power over to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell. Palin made the announcement at a hastily called press conference held at her Wasilla home as the holiday weekend began. She complained about ethics complaints lodged against her, said the media isn't reporting her accomplishments, and struck conservative political themes like smaller government, resource development and national security.
In other words, woe is me so, so long suckers!!

As the shock sunk in, the opinions began to spew forth. As the NYT Caucus Blog notes, The Saturday Word: Palin Chatter:
All should have been quiet on the political front the Friday before the Fourth of July. But, then there was Sarah Palin — Alaska’s governor, who announced she was quitting her job after just two years.

* * * *
But what it all means is still a bit curious. Though her sometimes rambling address sounded much like a farewell-cruel-politics speech, the announcement stirred more speculation that she would use her newfound freedom from governing responsibility to try to position herself for a presidential bid in 2012. She has a book contract, and has demonstrated again this summer that she remains popular among voters.
The Alaska blogger who was there from the beginning, AKMuckraker of Mudflats, again asked the question: What Is Sarah Palin Thinking? One Alaskan's Perspective:
Palin's long, rambling, fretful speech had all the visible tension and clenched jaw muscles of her appearance when she returned back home to little old Alaska after her failed VP bid. She was interviewed by the press in her Anchorage office and said how glad she was to be back, and how much fun it was to run the state of Alaska. Nobody believed her. It's become more and more apparent that what she likes is the crowds, the attention, and the advocacy for her beliefs. But the day to day running of the state doesn't seem to have much appeal anymore. A common complaint among legislators and top state officials since Palin's return from the campaign trail is that nobody ever sees her. Getting face time with the governor is not an easy thing. Palin has discovered, through her travels, that you don't have to be a politician to get attention.

Today she stood by the shores of Lake Lucille and told us how she was leaving her position for our own good. It's for the best interest of the state, she said. There are too many distractions, too much being picked on, too little time to focus on the matters of state, too many jokes about her kids, and too much money fighting those ethics complaints against her.

* * * *

Speculation is rampant about a soon to be declared run for the presidency in 2012. If Palin listens to her core group of supporters, she has reason to believe this run at the White House would land her in the Oval Office. Her resignation speech was full of imagery about Alaska's resources helping the country, about how much we owe our military, about the economy; a wistful retrospective of all her administration had accomplished. . . . And while the rhetoric sounded national, the mood of the event was anything but celebratory. And Palin continues to stick with the talking points that those who are paying attention have debunked.

The time in front of the cameras was also used, many felt, to "play the victim card." Palin spent a considerable amount of time castigating the very media that was there covering the event, for being too critical. But the principle objects of Palin's venom were private citizens who had filed ethics complaints against her. . . . She seems unable, even when delivering a speech that is destined for national coverage, to rise above the fray, and refrain from sounding petty.

Like everyone else, Josh Marshall of TPM, wondered what was behind the stunning move (timed for the bad news Friday cycle, on a holiday week-end, no less), in Surreality Only Beginning:
Either Palin is resigning ahead of some titanic scandal (which should emerge in short order if it exists) or her resignation was triggered by an even more extreme mental instability than we'd previously suspected.
Then there's Greg Sargent's take (from which I cribbed my caption), Bailin’ Barracuda, Or The Quitah From Wasilla:
First, my quickie prediction: Though she probably does envision a role in national public life of some kind, I don’t believe she intends to run in 2012. She may end up doing that, but my bet is that’s not what is driving the resignation.

This is a woman who appears to crave dominance, and gets visibly frustrated and deeply rattled when it eludes her or when her self-mastery wavers. She can’t dominate or control the national media or her national image. This was borne out again with the flap over the Vanity Fair article. She quit in a huff, and doesn’t have any intention of coming back.
Booman agrees. See It's Not Goodbye for Sarah.

The Kenosha Kid's Blog sums things up perfectly, Why is Sarah Palin resigning?:
1. Willow is pregnant
2. 'Crossed the line' with Governor Sanford
3. Devastating Vanity Fair article
4. Putting good of nation over her own petty ambitions
Not surprisingly, whenever a politician resigns "to spend more time with the family," the euphemism usually means that trouble (i.e., most often, legal problems) will soon be announced. As expected, the speculation began shortly after the announcement. Palin's Move Raises Big Questions. As AKMuckraker put it:
In Alaska it's become known as "the iceberg." The iceberg is rumored to be a piece of news that's so damaging, and so big, it will sink the S.S. Palin. The rumors also exist that it's coming soon. Speculation about IRS problems, issues with other three-letter organizations, more ethics complaints, and embezzlement abound. Questions have been raised about the construction of Palin's house by a bunch of Todd's buddies, at the same time that a giant sports complex was being built just down the road in Wasilla, and right after building codes had been abolished by the then mayor of Wasilla, one Sarah Palin. Do we know anything for sure? No. But the recent claim that the breaking of this scandal is imminent seems coincidental to say the least. Alaskans hesitate to get too excited about rumored indictments, though. Despite the indictment and conviction of several state legislators, and the indictment-conviction and now un-conviction of former Senator Ted Stevens, the slow process has taught us patience. We still await rumored indictments of Congressman Don Young, and former State Senate President Ben Stevens (son of Ted Stevens.) You can't make this stuff up.
Like Leave It To Beaver, leave it to Sarah had to react to the gossip in her usual way -- whine, moan, groan, followed by stupendous attack. So Palin has threatened legal action against those writers and reporters who dared to suggest that there may be more to her resignation beyond the muddled words muttered by Sarah. Huffington Post Blogger in Palin's Cross Hairs. Claiming defamation isn't protected under the Alaska Constitution, her lawyer conveniently omits that other legal document -- the US Constitution, which just might contain a 1st Amendment free speech right that may be applicable here. Palin's Lawyer Threatens Bloggers, Media.

As we get into the dog days of summer, Sarah's antics will insure that the bad news of the economy and war won't get us down. We always have her to snicker over.

There are times that snarkiness is just what's called for & Maureen Dowd delivers, in Now, Sarah’s Folly:

As Alaskans settled in to enjoy holiday salmon bakes and the post-solstice thaw, their governor had a solipsistic meltdown so strange it made Sparky Sanford look like a model of stability.

On the shore of Lake Lucille, with wild fowl honking and the First Dude smiling, with Piper in the foreground and their Piper Cub in the background, the woman who took the Republican Party by storm only 10 months ago gave an incoherent, breathless and prickly stream of consciousness to a small group in her Wasilla yard. Gobsmacked Alaska politicians, Republican big shots, the national press, her brother, the D.C. lawyer who helped create her political action committee and yes, even Fox News, played catch-up.

What looked like a secret wedding turned out to be a public unraveling as the G.O.P. implosion continued: Sarah wanted everyone to know that she’s not having fun and people are being mean to her and she doesn’t feel like finishing her first term as governor.

She can hunt wolves from the air and field-dress a moose, but she fears being a lame duck? Some brickbats over her ethics and diva turns as John McCain’s running mate, and that dewy skin turns awfully thin.

Maybe there’s another red Naughty Monkey high heel to drop — there’s often a hidden twist in Sarah’s country-music melodramas. Or is this a reckless high-speed escape from small-pond Alaska, where her popularity is dropping, to the big time Below?
We may be befuddled about what motivated Palin at the moment, but as Paul Begala notes, we shall soon find out, but one thing about her will not change -- her intellectual capacity. What you see is what you get. As he explains, Sarah Palin Turns Pro:

I'm no latter-day Strunk & White, just a guy who was struck by Palin's spectacularly rambling and infantile prose. It bespeaks a rambling and infantile mind. But perhaps not. Perhaps this is all a ruse. Perhaps Gov. Palin wants us to believe she's an intellectual featherweight who is slightly shallower than an actor on High School Musical. Maybe she's trying to throw us off the trail.

Naah. A lot of people thought that about George W. Bush. He couldn't be so block-headed, they said. He couldn't be as childish and churlish as he came off. Oh yes he could. And so, too, might Ms. Palin be as vapid and puerile as her inane statement suggests.

We will know. In the fullness of time (and I predict, not much time) we will know. Again and again in her statement, Gov. Palin returned to the nettlesome ethics inquiries that have been visited upon her since she signed on to be John McCain's running mate. No doubt they are annoying. But does anyone believe that's why she's resigning? No, there's more to this story. And Ms. Palin's resignation only increases the chances that we will all know the rest of the story soon. Or, as she might put it:

We will all KNOW the "rest of the Story" *((SOON!))*

As I listened to the news on the radio, hearing that Sarah Palin held her press conference alongside Lake Lucille, the thought struck me that it was only fitting, since she's the Lucille Ball of our time. Wacky, zany Lucy -- always good for a laugh. And, she never disappoints.

(Word Cloud via Wordle - Sarah Palin's Resignation Speech)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Cartoon of the Day

The real reason Sarah is resigning on Twitpic

The real reason Sarah Palin is resigning.

(Thanks to InsultComicDog)